With the NFL draft quickly approaching, let’s dive into one of the top prospects in this years draft. Behind Chase Young, Isaiah Simmons is perhaps the most talented defensive prospect in the draft. With the Giants slotted to pick at number 4, Young will almost certainly be off the board, unless the Redskins trade back to allow a team to take a quarterback and the Lions do the same or take a QB at 3. That leaves Simmons as the most likely draft target for the Giants.
The Giants desperately need to upgrade their pass rush. New York totaled 36 sacks last year, which was good for 22nd in the NFL. The previous two seasons before last, they came in bottom three each year. Drafting Simmons at 4 would mark the first time the Giants take a line backer in the first round since Carl Banks in 1984. With that in mind, let’s dive into Simmons as a prospect.
Simmons is a freak athlete. He ran a 4.39 40 yard dash at the combine while posting a 39″ vertical and 132″ broad jump. during his junior season at Clemson, he totaled 102 tackles, 8 sacks, and 3 interceptions. He poses a matchup nightmare for offenses as he can rush the quarterback, cover the tight end, and even line up to cover the slot receiver. Simmons is an extremely versatile player that can cover multiple positions. His play during his junior season was rewarded with the Butkus Award, for the nations top line backer.
You can watch some of his highlights here. Spoiler: he’s a freak.
Simmons does not possess many weaknesses. His reads as an inside linebacker need improvement. In addition, his instincts around the line of scrimmage, unplugging from the blocking tight end, and taking the correct angles and timing as a downhill linebacker need to improve. Those will come with the proper coaching and experience.
In my opinion, Simmons should be the Giants top option, unless Chase Young somehow falls to them. They need to improve their pass rush and Simmons can walk on the field week 1 and be their best defensive player. The Giants have not had a good defense since the first year of Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, and Janoris Jenkins. Simmons, DeAndre Baker, Jabrill Peppers, and Dexter Lawrence provide a nice core to build around on the defense. We know the Giants can score, but they need to be able to stop the football, and Simmons can do that.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)
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